Gymnastics coach Rebecca Anderson and her staff at Flips Gymnastics value exceptional performance as much as emotional well-being, she said.
“Every struggle they go through in the gym becomes a life lesson,” Anderson said.
Flips Gymnastics has provided recreational and competitive youth gymnastics programs in The Woodlands area for almost 30 years. The athletes, some as young as 2 years old, practice and participate in fundamental, progressive and advanced courses.
The programs give children a chance to sweat it out, Anderson said. Flips also offers recreational opportunities, such as freestyle classes and Olympics day. The facility is also used for private parties.
The building was constructed in Oak Ridge North in 1989 after Anderson’s parents purchased the company formerly known as Acrosports. Her father served as general manager and girls’ team head coach for Acrosports beginning in 1988, she said.
Born in the same year, Anderson shares a similar childhood with many Flips athletes who started in the gymnasium’s fundamental classes and later transitioned into competitive gymnastics. Anderson said she became a Flips coach at age 15 and took ownership of the business after her parents retired in 2014.
“We have moms who came to the gym when they were little, and now they’re bringing their kids back,” Anderson said. “It feels like you’re coming home, and you’re coming back to your family.”
The fundamental programs integrate a variety of physical and mental activities for children in preschool and kindergarten using unique games and warmup routines. The Diaper Daredevils, Mighty Munchkins, Rockin’ Rollers and others develop gross motor, strength, flexibility and basic gymnastic skills during 45-minute classes.
“We strive to make it feel like it’s a very comfortable environment,” Anderson said. “It’s a safe place where kids can come and learn gymnastics and learn to be active. They can learn how to love being a physically active individual but also feel good about themselves.”
The gym does have several competitive teams that participate in the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic program and the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation.
“TAAF is more for our older girls who might be in middle school or junior high,” Anderson said. “They want to come in five or six hours a week, but they can still be able to do soccer or volleyball or whatever they like.”
Anderson said Flips has a girls’ predevelopment program and team that participates in USAG Junior Olympics, which is more intensive and starts at age 6. Flips also has a boys’ USAG Junior Olympics team.
“It’s lot of flexibility and conditioning,” she said. “It sets the foundation for successful competitive gymnastics in the future.”
Anderson said most Flip coaches have been with the company for years and are former athletes. She said it is important the gym hires individuals who enjoy teaching and believe children have value.
“It’s not just their athletic education,” Anderson said. “Whatever they learn here is going to translate into whatever they do in an adult role. It’s been said coachable athletes become employable adults.”
Anderson said parents take on a major financial commitment when their child goes the competitive route. Texas Gymnastics Foundation and Montgomery County Gymnastics Booster Club are two parent-run booster clubs the company has partnered with in order to help parents handle the added financial responsibility.
“We’re really lucky in this athletic community because there are so many different options for parents and families,” she said. “You can absolutely find the gym home that works for you.”
27320 Robinson Road,Oak Ridge North, 281-292-4407, www.flipstexas.com, Hours: Mon.-Thu. 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m.-noon, 3-8:30 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-noon, closed Sundays